One of the most common reasons for aesthetic breast surgery is to restore a woman’s body after pregnancy and breastfeeding. Breastfeeding can take a toll on your breasts and leave them deflated, droopy, and sometimes heavier than before. Some women have trouble fitting into bras and/or clothing as a result of changes to their breast volume and shape. This can impact on a woman’s confidence and self-esteem over time. Whatever the reason, breast augmentation can restore a sense of confidence and comfort in swimwear and clothing. Dr Eddie Cheng, Specialist Plastic Surgeon from Brisbane, QLD, says breast augmentation after children is a common procedure and chats to us about what’s involved.
How long after breastfeeding until you can have a breast augmentation?
This has got to be one of the most common questions we are asked and Dr Cheng says it’s the first question most women ask. He suggests a minimum of 3 months before you start thinking about it. “I usually recommend that somewhere between 3 and 6 months is ideal for a couple of reasons. Firstly, we need to make sure the breast size is stable so that we can be sure to select the appropriate size breast implant for your preferred look. Secondly, there can be an increased chance of dormant bacteria within the milk ducts which may increase the risk of infection if surgery is performed when the breasts are still productive of milk. You also want to make sure you’re at your ideal weight – if you have some more weight to lose, it can affect the size of your breasts and therefore your implant choice.”
Where your nipples sit can make a difference to what breast surgery will be best for you. After pregnancy, breastfeeding and weight gain and/or loss your nipple positioning can be affected. When the position of your nipples is too low (pointing downward), also referred to as ptosis, implants alone may or may not fix the problem and a lift may be required to help move the nipples into a more aesthetically pleasing position. Implants can sometimes help lift the nipples but if the problem is too severe, a lift can help bring the nipples back up to where they should be. Dr Cheng says, “Some patients may be in the orange zone, or borderline, or simply want to avoid the scars of a lift if possible. For those ladies I often suggest seeing what the result is like with breast augmentation alone to see if this enhances deflated breasts. Some women are really happy with this improvement. A breast lift can always be performed down the track as a stage 2 procedure to improve breast shape and nipple-areola position if needed.”
Can you still breastfeed after implants?
Another common question that women ask is, “Can I still breastfeed if I have another baby down the track after I’ve had my implants?”. Dr Cheng says usually, yes. “I prefer an infra-mammary incision or an incision in the breast fold to access the breast implant pocket instead of a periareolar incision for this reason. This reduces the chance of interfering with milk ducts and breast tissue. I discuss this in more detail during the patient’s consultation to make sure we’re doing what’s right for the patient and that they are aware of the risks. Any breast surgery can impact on a woman’s ability to breastfeed, however, many of my patients can still breastfeed after breast augmentation.”
Want to see how you will look with your new breasts before you have the procedure?
Dr Cheng and his team at AR Plastic Surgery use 3D imaging technology called Crisalix to show realistic, colour images of the possible outcomes and results of the surgery. Simulating the appearance of your breast augmentation (or any other procedure), the 3D images are included in the price of your consultation with AR Plastic Surgery and helps you and Dr Cheng to better understand what size, shape and outcome you are wanting to achieve. You can see what 300cc might look like compared with 400cc and you can see how different shaped implants will affect your individual result.
Dr Cheng shared some of his breast augmentation patient results with us to see what’s possible. If you would like to arrange a consultation with Dr Cheng click here, or for more information visit his website. You can also arrange an appointment with one of our highly trained patient coordinators for an initial 3D scan to visualise the possibilities.
Follow Dr Cheng’s patient stories on Instagram or facebook@arplasticsurgery. You might also be interested to attend AR Plastic Surgery’s next Breast Implant Information Evening on 22 August. See below for more info: